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What are Blue Buffalo Allergies?

Blue Buffalo is a well-known brand of dog food that was founded in Wilton, CT in 2002. An allergy to a particular dog food is triggered when the immune system responds in a hostile manner to one or more of the ingredients that make up the food. Canines who develop food allergies experience itchy, inflamed skin and can also develop chronic disorders like ear infections, indigestion, and wheezing. Although rare in canines, anaphylactic shock may also occur with food allergies. Blue Buffalo carries a variety of different categories of dog food, some designed for allergy prone dogs.

Blue Buffalo pet food manufactures a large variety of dog foods. Some varieties of Blue Buffalo are more likely to trigger an allergic response in a sensitized animal than others.

Blue Buffalo Allergies Average Cost

From 483 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

Symptoms of Blue Buffalo Allergies in Dogs

Allergy related skin reactions are frequently located under the dog’s front legs, around its face and groin area, or between the toes. Although there are exceptions, most dogs who develop food related allergies do so after they reach three years of age. 

  • Bald patches
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Chronic gas
  • Chronically inflamed feet
  • Coughing 
  • Diarrhea
  • Face rubbing
  • Head shaking
  • Hives
  • Obsessive licking
  • Paw biting
  • Poor growth 
  • Skin infections
  • Skin rashes
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing

Occasionally food allergies can induce a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylactic shock, and it should be treated as an emergency if it does. If your pet exhibits the following symptoms, they should be transported to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic immediately as fatalities can occur within just 15 minutes.

  • Cold limbs
  • Coma
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Pale gums
  • Seizures
  • Sudden diarrhea
  • Sudden vomiting

Types

Blue Buffalo manufactures some recipes that may be helpful for the allergic animal. These lines include:

  • Grain free - A little over half of Blue Buffalo’s varieties are labeled as 100% grain free, making them an alternative for pets who are allergic to grains

  • Limited ingredient - There are several limited-ingredient recipes manufactured by this company, including a puppy recipe, several small breed varieties, and wet food options
  • Gastrointestinal support - This is a prescription dog food designed to maintain a healthy digestive tract, helping to prevent new allergies from forming

  • HF Hydrolyzed - A prescription food designed specifically for the allergic pet; the proteins in the ingredients are partially broken down prior to inclusion into the food, which reduces the likelihood of adverse reactions
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Causes of Blue Buffalo Allergies in Dogs

Approximately 60-70% of the cells that make up the canine immune system inhabit the gastrointestinal system. Food allergies are triggered by an antagonistic response of the immune system to a protein that has been ingested by the animal. Digestion typically breaks down the foods your pet eats into amino acids, which are the smallest building blocks of proteins. Typically, white blood cells called enterocytes absorb the amino acids so that they can be transported into the bloodstream. When proteins are not sufficiently broken down during digestion, the enterocytes identify them as intruders and instead of absorbing the fragments, they attack them. Repeated exposure to the allergen creates a response by the white blood cells that is both faster and more aggressive, causing the symptom to intensify. The foods most likely to cause an allergy for dogs include beef, dairy, wheat, chicken, lamb, eggs, and fish.

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Diagnosis of Blue Buffalo Allergies in Dogs

The skin related symptoms that are uncovered during the physical examination will most likely prompt your pet’s doctor to collect skin samples in the form of skin scrapings from any of the areas that are affected by the excess histamine that was released due to a reaction to an allergen. The skin scrapings will be expended to perform a cutaneous cytology. Cutaneous Cytology is a process in which the skin cells are examined microscopically in order to uncover any potential problems. The type of difficulties that are often during cutaneous cytology can include mites, signs of disease, or even yeast infections.

The exclusion of these kinds of conditions will likely lead your veterinarian to suspect a food-related allergy as the cause of the skin conditions, and an elimination diet will be implemented to confirm the allergy’s existence and origins. Executing an elimination diet is a process that involves changing the dog's food to either a diet of bland human grade food or to an appropriate hypoallergenic or reduced ingredient commercial food. Novel ingredients, categorized as proteins and carbohydrates that are not common in the dog’s current diet, are preferred for an effective elimination diet. A properly implemented elimination diet will cause the allergy related symptoms to fade over a few weeks. Once the symptoms of the allergy are extinguished, additional individual ingredients can be added back into the diet until the liable allergen is identified.

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Treatment of Blue Buffalo Allergies in Dogs

Although allergies to foods are not curable, symptoms usually cease within a few weeks if the allergen is removed from the animal’s diet. Elimination diets can be time-consuming, often requiring several weeks before it reveals the culpable allergen or family of allergens, During this period your pet may experience lingering symptoms. Corticosteroids may reduce swelling and antihistamines may calm itching, but these medications also tend to mask the symptoms of an allergic response, making it much more difficult to determine which ingredient or ingredients in your dog’s food is causing the reactions. Many veterinarians prefer to complete the elimination diet before recommending medications to combat the symptoms to more accurately diagnose the underlying allergy. Rashes that are caused by food allergies commonly develop into secondary bacterial infections, and antibiotics may be prescribed to fight the infection.

Once the identity of the allergen is clearly defined, the initial course of action is avoidance of the ingredient. Any exposure to the allergen can cause a relapse, so it is important to be vigilant about which treats and flavorings are allowed. Once a dog acquires an allergic reaction to one category of food, they become predisposed to developing new food allergies as well. Experts differ in their approach to this situation, with some advocating that your pet remain on a single source of food unless new allergy symptoms start to resurface, while others maintain that a steady rotation of three of four novel protein recipes is ideal.

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Recovery of Blue Buffalo Allergies in Dogs

For the elimination diet to successfully diagnose the allergy, several important points should be taken into consideration.

Each individual ingredient incorporated into your pet’s current food should be avoided when determining the most appropriate replacement food. The entire food family may trigger your pet's allergies, so switching from a beef diet to an avian source such as duck is likely to have more success than substituting another source of red meat like venison. It is imperative that you ensure that your dog complies with whichever new diet is chosen for this testing phase, and does not ingest anything except for the food selected for the elimination diet. A single treat with the allergen can cause a reoccurrence of the allergy. Sources to avoid may include:

  • Cow hooves
  • Flavored medications (including heartworm preventives) or supplements
  • Flavored plastic toys
  • Flavored toothpastes
  • Leftovers
  • Pigs Ears
  • Rawhides
  • Treats
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Blue Buffalo Allergies Average Cost

From 483 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

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Blue Buffalo Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Chug

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Seven Weeks

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Itching And Biting Paws, Sneezing

I started feeding him blue buffalo and he has been itching ever since I started him on it. Could it be due to the food?

Aug. 3, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. A food allergy would be quite unusual in a 7 week old puppy, and it is more likely something else that is causing the itching. He may be reacting to something in the environment, or he might have a parasite that is causing this. If it is something that is not improving, it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine him and see what might be causing this problem, and get treatment for him. I hope that all goes well for him!

Aug. 3, 2020

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Pit Bull

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Four Months

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Itching Red Spots

I seen my puppy bleeding on his chest I lifted his head and he has red inflamed spots from his neck to his groin and he continues to scratch

Aug. 1, 2020

Owner

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Jessica N. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Hello- Thank you for your question. It appears that your puppy has developed a skin infection otherwise known as puppy pyoderma. I would recommend scheduling an appointment with your veterinarian so they can assess the skin and prescribe antibiotics to clear it up. Have a good evening.

Aug. 1, 2020

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Diesal

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Jack Russell Terrier

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15 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Itching

Hello!I have a 15 year old Jack Russell that always had sensitive stomach issues. {blood in stools and vomiting)After unknown reason, I put him on Pet Smart"s Simply Nourish salmon and (senior) sweet potato dry food. This worked, except for times he has gotten into something from grandchildren or cat food, for many years but his breath was so bad, I decided to try Senior Blue Basic with turkey. His stomach has been fine, breath is better and he likes it but he is itching alot. He doesn't have hot spots but he scratches. Can you think of any ingredient that could cause this? Thank you for your help! Clara

July 16, 2018

Diesal's Owner

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1 Recommendations

Surprisingly there isn’t one ingredient over another that a dog may be allergic to, you should compare the ingredients between the PetSmart diet and the Blue Buffalo diet and see what ingredients are different and then look into a diet without those ingredients or missing some of them and check by trial and error. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2017/01/food-allergies/

July 17, 2018

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Sammy

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Beagle

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8 Months

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Redness
Hair Loss
Itching
Inflamation
Red Eyes

My puppy is 8 months old and has been eating the blue buffalo puppy food. Recently he started itching his face, under his stomach and under his neck so badly that it’s caused red inflammation and hair loss. The worst is around his eyes, the skin around his eyes is red and also has hair loss on his top lids of his eyes. I looked at his paws, inbetween his toes, it’s also red and itchy.

May 12, 2018

Sammy's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Puppies are prone to many skin conditions that may not be related to his food. Bacterial infections, parasites, and fungal infections are all quite common. He should be seen by a veterinarian, as they can look at him, determine what might be going on, and get any treatment for him that he may need. I hope that all goes well for him.

May 12, 2018

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Chloe

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Cocker-Pei

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5 Months

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Serious severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Licking At Genitals
Licking
Scratching
Chewing

Hi my cocker spaniel puppy is eating blue buffalo wilderness grain free chicken kibble now she has always been itchy but it seems to be getting worse she excessively licks her self front legs chews her paws and groin area. I have taken her to the vet and they gave her anti itch pills but once the pills ran out the itching started up again I don’t know if it’s her food or what else it may be I just need help. I feel so bad that she stays up at night scratching, licking, and chewing herself to the point of leaving her panting. Vet never discussed possible allergy just said she may have dry skin but her skin is not flaky. Any advice will help

March 14, 2018

Chloe's Owner

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1 Recommendations

You should think about changing to a restricted diet or limited ingredient diet, grain free isn’t really important as people believe unless a grain allergy has been professionally diagnosed (it occurs less commonly than people believe); I would feed the restricted diet or limited ingredient diet for a few weeks to see if there is any improvement, if so you can introduce ingredients one by one to identify the culprit. A shortcut to this is allergy testing either by blood test or skin testing; you should discuss with your Veterinarian about this, also read the article on the link below from Tufts University about food allergies. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2017/01/food-allergies/

March 14, 2018

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Petey

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Pit bull

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Itching, Licking

I have a 2 yr old Pit Bull that I recently switched to Blue Buffalo life protection chicken and brown rice. He started itching and licking like crazy. His feet were red, irritated and swollen. I put him back on his Purina Dog Chow and immediately noticed a difference. It's been 3 days and he has quit the licking and licking and his paws are no longer swollen and red.

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Luke

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Labrador Retriever

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12 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Ear Infections, Paw Licking And Sor

Our 12 year old Lab started licking his paws when we had to put his buddy, our 13-1/2 year old lab down. We thought he was grieving. He has always had ear infections, but putting the "komfy kone" on him that our vet sold us, caused the ear infections to get worse, and only partially alleviated the paw licking, as he figured out how to push the cone against a wall or the floor and reach his paw. After three months of antibiotics, pain meds and us giving him undivided attention - nothing was working. So we tried a slow food switch...we bought Blue Wilderness as it is so recommended and expensive. We slowly switched him from his diet of Sam's Club Grain Free Salmon and Pea to the Blue Wilderness Grain Free Chicken Adult Formula. The paw licking has intensified. Sores are obvious on the underside of his paws as well as the top. A friend suggested that it could be a Yeast allergy, and we noted that the list of ingredients on the Sam's Club food did not include yeast, but the Blue Wilderness did. I should also mention that Luke is a seizure dog, and has been on phenobarbitol since the age of 5.

Blue Buffalo Allergies Average Cost

From 483 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

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